Republicans Make Power Grab Before NC Governor Can Take Office

North Carolina House representatives voted to limit the appointing powers of the new, Democrat governor, just weeks before he is set to take office.

Incoming Democratic governor, Roy Cooper is considering suing the Republican House that just voted to strip him of some of his gubernatorial power. A crowd gathered to protest the legislature, which passed 70-36 in favor of the Republicans.


North Carolinians have turned out to protest on behalf of their governor-elect. Cooper, who the people of North Carolina voted into power in a democratic election, is being blocked by House Republicans who have been voting to take away some of his roles as governor in two days of special sessions.

The News Observer reports that House Bill 17 allows the House to strip the governor-to-be of the power to make his own appointments, requiring the Republican-majority cabinet to approve them. It would also limit his ability to appoint school board trustees at state universities. A provision to the bill would limit his employee appointments from the 1,500 of his predecessor to a mere 300.

Politico reports that Cooper is threatening to sue over the action taken against him, which he believes is unconstitutional.

"We're still looking at it all," said Cooper. "The whole process of how they called themselves into this second special session is questionable. So potentially everything that they do at this point is unconstitutional." Special sessions do not have to be planned in advance and is brought into session by a majority in the House—which is currently Republican.

The session was interrupted by a large group of protesters and 20 arrests were made over the Republican power grab. The crowd was filmed chanting "All political power comes from the people!"— a reminder to the House that Cooper was elected by the citizens and that HB17 is subverting democracy.

"We don’t want another disaster like House Bill 2," said Cooper, referencing the hateful anti-transgender bathroom law passed in the state during a previous special session. Cooper called out the underhanded methods of the House, saying, "They’re major changes in North Carolina law. They deserve debate. They deserve deliberation."

Let's hope that Cooper is able to take legal action against this violation of the will of American voters and that the protesters' voices are heard.

Banner Image Credit: Reuters, Chris Keane

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